This Week in eCommerce, June 28, 2021

Brittany Blackman
Jun 24, 2021

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon’s annual event for Prime members took place from June 21-22. The event, which typically makes headlines with outrageous revenue numbers, actually ended up being a little more tame than usual this year. That’s not to say there aren’t any staggering numbers, because there are, but after a year of a global pandemic shifting public opinion and consumer habits, there’s a slight shift.

Starting with the impressive numbers, the first day of Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day event is expected to have driven the most online sales over a 24-hour period so far this year. Sales during the first 24 hours of the event are set to surpass $5.6 billion, representing 8.7% growth year over year, according to an index tracked by Adobe Analytics.

Adobe also calculated that Monday’s sales also surpassed the $5.1 billion that consumers spent online over Thanksgiving Day last year.

Unsurprisingly, plenty of consumers bought Amazon’s own devices, including a record-setting number of Fire TVs from brands like Insignia and Toshiba, and more than a few back-to-school items, including more than 600,000 backpacks, 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 240,000 notebooks, 40,000 calculators and 220,000 Crayola products, Amazon reports in a news release.

But what was the most popular item Amazon sold around the world? None other than the Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, a streaming media stick with access to 4K Ultra HD and a fancy shmancy voice remote that lets you search and launch shows with your voice.

But Amazon’s publicity around the Prime Day results was muted compared to the past few years. Consumers have noticed that the promotion of the event was missing the outrageous sales superlatives it typically offers to entice consumers to flock to the site. There was noticeably less effort to promote the event this year. But why?

Amazon has previously characterized the event as its “biggest day ever” or the “largest shopping event in Amazon history.” Those descriptors were missing this year, instead it shifted to spotlight the merchants. They stressed that Prime Day was the “two biggest days ever” for merchants.

GoDaddy Introduces Payments Features

Partially known for its racy marketing back in the early 2000s, GoDaddy launched GoDaddy Payments, a new payments feature that allows users to manage their e-commerce transactions all from the same place. The feature will be available to Websites + Marketing customers, as well as GoDaddy-powered Managed WordPress and WooCommerce sites.

Leveraging its $320M December 2020 acquisition of payment platform, Poynt, GoDaddy will now have a home-grown payments option for over 20 million businesses that sell on its platform. 

The setup process is quick n’ easy. The ease of adoption allows customers to begin using GoDaddy Payments for processing their customers’ transactions in minutes. Payments are processed securely and efficiently, with funds deposited into users’ bank accounts the very next business day. 

President of Commerce, Osama Bedier says that “GoDaddy Payments represents a major step towards centralizing every tool and service a business needs to successfully sell online. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to accelerating our efforts.”

Last month, Google announced GoDaddy will be able to integrate into its platforms, giving merchants greater exposure across Google-owned sites. This move could position the company to give other payments platforms a run for their money. 

Stripe Launches Identity

Payments giant Stripe has launched Stripe Identity, a self-service solution that authenticates user identity, in 30 countries after a successful pilot run. Stripe says the service works in as little as 15 seconds.

Per TechCrunch, they include Discord (as part of its ID verification feature); Peerspace (which runs ID verification when onboarding users and merchants); Shippo (when when it identifies high-risk users and asks them to verify themselves); and other unnamed customers using it to prevent account takeovers.

Stripe Identity asks users to upload a photograph of their government ID and a selfie, which are then matched using machine learning. The technology isn’t strictly payments-specific, and will also be available to businesses that are not existing Stripe clients. It can be either integrated into a company's existing workflow with code or sent out as a link to verify certain interactions.

The company is offering customers two ways to use Stripe Identity. Like Stripe’s payments product, it can be integrated into a checkout or other workflow using just a few different lines of code. But it can also be offered as a service outside of that, using a simple verification link issued around suspicious transactions or other high risk users. 

The move comes at an opportune time where identity fraud risk is growing. According to Javelin, a research strategy firm, Identity fraud losses hit $56 billion (with a B) in 2020, an amount that has climbed rapidly compared to previous years. This uptick was mostly due to scams, though new types of identity fraud, like synthetic identity fraud and account takeover fraud, have been growing for years as well.

But Stripe has some competition in this field: others include Jumio (which raised a big round earlier this year); Onfido (reportedly planning an IPO); Veriff; Berbix; Passbase and more.

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